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Camiguin

Camiguin

An island getaway full of dive spots, historic sites, and hiking trails.
By Bianca Ma. Guerrero

Overview

The province of Camiguin in the Northern Mindanao region is an island known mainly for having seven volcanoes. Mt. Hibok-Hibok is the most popular of these volcanoes, as it is a challenging climb for mountaineers and a popular swimming site for those visiting some of the island's waterfalls and hot springs. The other popular volcano in the province is Mt. Vulcan, which erupted during Spanish colonial times, resulting in some of Camiguin's most prominent tourist destinations, such as the ruins of Old Catarman and the Sunken Cemetery. Camiguin is also one of the country's well-loved dive destinations, as its waters are filled with coral reefs and colorful species of fish.

History

  • Camiguin comes from the word "Kamagong," derived from the name of the kamagong tree which thrives in Surigao del Norte, where the Manobos, the original inhabitants of Camiguin, migrated from.
  • The Spanish established a settlement in what is known today as Guinsiliban, a name that means "to look out for pirates from a watchtower." There is indeed an old Spanish tower in Guinsiliban that Camiguinons once used to keep watch for Moro pirates.
  • When Mt. Vulcan Daan erupted in 1891, it destroyed the settlement of old Catarman, then known as Katagman or Katadman. All that is left of the old town today are the ruins of a Spanish church, a convent, and a bell tower.
  • From 1946 to 1958, Camiguin was part of Misamis Oriental. It became a sub-province in 1958, and was declared a province ten years later.

Travelers' Attractions

There are several activities and attractions in store for travelers in Camiguin.

  • Mountain climbers will enjoy trekking the mountains on the island, especially Mount Hibok-Hibok, which is a challenging climb. This island is known for having seven volcanoes; aside from Mount Hibok-Hibok there are Mount Vulcan, Mount Guinsiliban, Mount Mambajao, Mount Timpoong, Mount Tres Marias, and Mount Uhay.
  • There are various spots for swimming and diving around the island, such as beaches and coral reefs.
  • The province's rich culture and history makes it an interesting place to visit, with churches and ruins from the Spanish times.

Getting There and Away

  • There are direct flights from Manila to Cagayan de Oro City where one can take the ferry to Camiguin. Airlines with trips to Cagayan de Oro are Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Air Philippines.
  • To get to Camiguin by boat, one can take the M/V Yuhum Ferry to Camiguin from the Cagayan de Oro Ferry Terminal, or go to North Harbor and go aboard Superferry, Negros Navigation, or Sulpicio Lines.
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White Island

White Island is made of nothing but coral and sand.

Sunken Cemetery & Cross Marker

The community cemetery of the old town of Catarman lies below sea level, marked by a large cross.

Catarman Church Ruins

A chapel stands inside the ruins of the old church of Catarman. The formerly prosperous town was wiped out in a major volcanic eruption in 1871.

Old Vulcan

The Via Cruzes-Old Vulcan Slope has a paved walkway lined with statues depicting the Stations of the Cross.

Mt. Hibok-Hibok

The active Mt. Hibok-Hibok volcano presents a challenging climb for mountaineers.

Katibawasan Falls

The best time to visit Katibawasan Falls is between ten in the morning and two in the afternoon.

Sto. Niņo Cold Spring

The spring flows through several pools--there are even shallow pools for children.

Ardent Hot Springs

The Ardent Hot Springs has a four-level pool where visitors can swim.

Luna Ristorante

Luna Ristorante is known for the best pizza in Camiguin.
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